A Comparison of Neo-Classical and Romantic Period

The Neo-Classical period began roughly around 1660 and continued to around 1789. This age was part of the enlightenment period. These were the beginnings of science, however there was no such thing as a scientist. Everyone was expected to be able to do any aspect of things. There was also a lot of booming in this age, including the first newspapers and coffee houses. Tobacco was starting to become very popular as well around this time. These were the times of sophistication where people began to care what others thought of themselves.

With new age also came new thinking. Humans became confident and believed they could do anything as long as they use their brains. The church also played a huge role in the Neo-classical age. Writing was considered an art; however it required a set of skills and lots of hard work to perfect. Poetry in this time period was all centered on humans. It was an art not for art’s sake, however for human’s sake.

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The style of writing is very methodical and machine-like.

Alexander Pope is a very popular artist during the Neo-classical age. He himself was a Roman Catholic. He is a huge believer in the “Great Chain of Being.” This is an idea like two pyramids pointing in opposite directions. If you would be in the middle, you would look up and always have somebody over you in a higher class and they are always on top. And when you look down, there will always be somebody underneath you which you were better than and had superiority over.

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Of course the top and bottom points of the pyramid would be the extremes. For example, God would be the top point of the pyramid, and Satan would be the bottom point of the pyramid.

An example of a perfect Neoclassical poem, would be, “The Essay on Man,” by Alexander Pope. In this poem, “The Great Chain of Being” takes on a major role. It is what the entire poem is about. It states that humans are a scientific “machine” that are too perfect. So perfect, we must have been designed by a higher power. “The whole Universe one system of Society. Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for another. The happiness of animals mutual…” (The Essay on Man; Alexander Pope)

This sentence shows how the Universe works through “The Great Chain of Being.” Everything is one, that works with each other like a machine. Very scientifically, and dependent on each other. Even the animals and non-living matters are part of “The Great Chain of Being.”

The Romantic Period began around the 19[th] Century, however it is possible in some places it began earlier. This period was almost a step back from the Neoclassicals. Rather than enlightenment, learning, and “The Great Chain of Being”; this period was very simple. Nature plays a huge part in Romanticism. Romantics would rather live out in nature extremely simple, than live a busy city lifestyle. Romantics believe Nature and God are interchangeable. Also nature is a word of different meanings. Rather than being methodical and one right answer, everything can be whatever that person sees of it. The Neoclassical sees tools as having a specific purpose, however the Romantic believes there are many uses to one tool. The writing style of the Romantics is much different than the Neoclassicals. Some seem very simple like nursery rhymes. Rather than being all about humans, Romantic poems all are centered around a specific place and setting. Individualism is a huge part of the Romantic period. “The Tyger”, is a wonderful Romantic poem by William Blake. The first thing that pops out that this is a Romantic poem is the name itself. Pope’s Poem was Essay on Man, which shows the humanism.

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A Comparison of Neo-Classical and Romantic Period. (2022, Apr 20). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-comparison-of-neo-classical-and-romantic-period-essay

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